Keiji Inafune Explains How Soul Sacrifice Is Played

By Spencer . May 10, 2012 . 5:01pm

At an event in Tokyo, Keiji Inafune recently showed off his upcoming PlayStation Vita title, Soul Sacrifice, being developed in collaboration with Sony’s Japan Studio and Marvelous AQL. Inafune describes Soul Sacrifice as “true fantasy”.


By “true fantasy” Inafune says he means to show the reality of sacrifice and the cost of casting magic. Soul Sacrifice transforms your organs into… weapons. In a trailer, the sorcerer players control reaches inside his mouth and pulls out his spine. This creates a grotesque Excalibur, which the sorcerer can use to rend his foes. Using this powerful spell has a price—your life.


At the start of Soul Sacrifice, players will be able to create and customize their characters. Your form can change during the game resulting in a monster-like character if you continue to use powerful spells. Soul Sacrifice has other magic that requires items instead of your limbs. The monsters in Soul Sacrifice were once humans, but after repeatedly using magic, they turned into freakish creatures. Inafune hopes that these human-like qualities will strike a chord in the player’s heart.


Inafune played Soul Sacrifice on stage and explained spells can be set to three buttons: square, triangle, and circle. By pressing one of the shoulder buttons, you can use a different set of attacks, so you can have up to six spells on one character. After you defeat a monster you can either sacrifice it or give it salvation. The kinds of things you get depends on the choice you make.


Soul Sacrifice has four player co-op via an ad-hoc mode. A video shown to attendees had four sorcerers fighting a Cerberus. The battle started out with the party casting fire and lightning spells. While three players chanted away, one player hacked at the beast using a sword. So, even though you are a sorcerer you apparently aren’t restricted to magic wands and spine swords. During the battle, the screen flashed red and players briefly saw the monster when it was a human.


This message gives players a hint on how to defeat the monster. This group of players decided on sacrifice and a wounded sorcerer set himself on fire to cast the spell Salamander. The other three players decided to sacrifice Cerberus and claim the reward. Inafune wants players to think about and discuss what to do with monster carcasses after defeating an enemy. Each player picks their own option and it’s possible to disagree with the other players. There is a system that keeps this in check, but Inafune didn’t explain how this works.


Inafune wants to release Soul Sacrifice in Japan sometime this year. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan set “winter” as the game’s release window, which could carry over to 2013. Inafune also said that he selected PlayStation Vita as the platform for Soul Sacrifice because multiplayer is a key factor. When asked about online play, he said he thinks like a global producer and online play is important for bringing a title overseas.


However, Soul Sacrifice has not been confirmed for any regions, other than Japan, Inafune said. Right now, he’s considering to add online play and voice chat.  Other details like how Soul Sacrifice makes use of Vita specific hardware features will be explained at a later date. Additionally, it was also confirmed that Soul Sacrifice will have downloadable content.

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  • Luis Camargo

    So Demon’s Souls meets Monster Hunter ? Announce a localization now, Sony. Don’t do the same you did with Demon’s Souls. Or if you do, there’s Atlus to save the day.

    • Givemeblood…Nyaa

      For once i don’t think we really need to worry about that.

      This game look like it will appeal to the west much more then japan.

    • Solomon_Kano

      You won’t have to worry about them pulling a Demon’s Souls, since Japan Studios’ involvement guarantees that any international release would be through Sony.

  • I don’t find it “awesome” that you have pull your spine out for a sword. I mean, do you regain it as a monster piece or something. The trailer showed the character just being attacked and then pulling out his spine for the sword, but wouldn’t it make more sense to carry around weapons or use small spells first. Then, the battle between the two wasn’t very epic or gives you the sense that “Alright, I have to win no matter what”. It just felt like they wanted to show it off(which seems pretty obvious that they would). This is just from what I saw in the trailer. And the gameplay seems very good, but I don’t see how the body sacrificing affects to character during gameplay at all. What I mean by this is that the character didn’t move anyway slower or anything. Hopefully, the full game will be great!

    • SirRichard

      “It just felt like they wanted to show it off.”

      Of course they did, that’s the point of early trailers like this. It was showing off the grotesque horrors the game has in store, and let’s be honest; having a man tear out his own spine to create a sword grabs attention. It makes more sense not to use the nuclear option right away, true, but that wouldn’t have made for a succinct, attention-grabbing first proper trailer, would it?

      As for affecting the characters, the trailer and this article establish that the spine-costing Excalibur and self-immolating Salamander kill the caster once they’re used, so that’s definitely something to worry about.

      • It really sounds more Arcade-ish to me, in a sense that those weapons can be considered as Jokers. The more you use it, the higher the outcome will be that you turn into one of those monsters as well. It’s kinda simple yet stunning if they manage to pull that kind of character development out in this game. I hope that this Sacrifice or Salvation Option will be more that just a route to either Good End or Bad End. I truly must say, I like what Inafune plans for this game. I will definitely “keep an eye out” for this game. So far, the graphics look neat, just need some more Gameplay Videos and a good, dark storyline and this could probably be a Game of the Year (Vita) for me.

    • Zenkaider

      It’s a demo and not the final version of the game,so of course they want to show off the features that put this game apart from others.

      Now,about the heavy spells,that’s a bloody good questions.How does it work?Guess only time will tell.

      As for the weapons,I was wondering about that as well,but they said that the player is strictly a wizard,so,unless the magic spell involves some sort of melee fighting,weapons are pretty useless to the wizard.Guess that’s the logic they use.

  • SirRichard

    “However, Soul Sacrifice has not been confirmed for any regions, other than Japan, Inafune said. Right now, he’s considering to add online play”

    WHY and YES PLEASE, good sir. This is the sort of thing the PSV desperately needs, and it’ll definitely grab attention with the dark setting and its very intense definition of “sacrifice”, at least.

  • Oi, it dat reminds me o’ da Chaos Humiez.

    Humie Translator Robot: The ork brute says he is reminded of the mutated humans of the chaos forces.

  • Roubjon

    Really? adhoc only?  C’mon.

    • Raiyu

      Adhoc and infrastructure multiplayer are confirmed actually.

      • Roubjon

         Oh, awesome.  Thanks.

    •  If you read the whole article you’ll notice that right at the end it says they’re planning to put online play and voice chat.

      • Roubjon

        Yeah, I didn’t read the whole article. You act like that’s a crime.

        I’ll make sure I do next time.

        • Solomon_Kano

          I mean, it’s not criminal, but it doesn’t really make sense to comment before you finish reading unless it was something general.

        • The_Real_Oyashiro

          Didn’t read the article completely? Why thats a hanging offense around these parts!

  • Crevox

    Sounds like brutally realistic Dark Souls

    …I guess

  • riceisnice

    From reading all these articles and looking at the pictures. I’m starting to think that this game isn’t so child friendly.

    • Champ W

      Seeing how gruesome this game is (from its notion), I doubt children are their target group, more like teenagers.

    • Domii

      Good one ma boy lol

    • konsama

      I thought that’s what the “superior” Vita players wanted, a console with games for “grown ups”. From the very art this was pretty much obvious, i doubt any kid wouldn’t had freaked out (and even most adults) from seeing that art with the guy pulling his spine out of his mouth. Even i WTF’d a bit at first.

  • Monster Hunter watch out. You got one hell of an awesome opponent.

  • Domii

    It seems like Inafune plans to back up all the trash talk he said about Japanese developers with this game. So far it looks like this game will be revolutionary.

    •  LOL Revolutionary.

    • >revolutionary
      Nothing about this game is revolutionary. So far, this game does not look the pinnacle of graphical prowess, gameplay, story, or innovation, and I highly doubt it will turn out to be so.
      Not saying it will be a bad game, of course. It definitely looks fun and interesting, but I wouldn’t call it revolutionary.

      • Domii

        Oh stop it. The concept for this game is something that has never been seen before. It kind of reminds me when Demons Souls came out, but yeah i did exaggerate a little.

  • As interesting as this may be, calling it “true fantasy” just rubs me the wrong way. I’ll inevitably try it out, but they’re not making it easy, especially since there seems to be a focus on multiplayer teamwork, the main thing that turned me off to the Monster Hunter series in the first place (and why Dragon’s Dogma seems a better fit for me). Time will tell, though.

    Still, after all of Inafune’s trash talk on japanese gaming and this is what we get… I feel a bit disappointed. (I think he should collaborate with Itagaki at this rate).

    • konsama

      Well i agree is a bit of hypocrisy, but after all, the game looks very promising and the Vita seriously needs a game that can make it sell much better, what can be better than a MH-ish game to do it, co-op multiplayer games are a successful genre at least in Japan, and just from these trailers look better than most of the other 4 co-op “hunting” games that came out for PSP after MH popularity.

      Also i’m glad it didn’t follow his own advice, japanese developers shouldn’t westernize their games, but only use it as another form of the “art”, just like painters do with styles, or musicians with music genres. Can be good to have influences of different styles of games, but there’s not a “correct” way to do it. But from what i’ve seen, the only thing Japanese developers got influenced by the occident was the business practices, and that’s not good in any way.

  • boundries_san

    Time to show ur worth here InafKing. If u can make this game success, i can guarantee those people on Capcom will feel that they had just released a gem away from their company.

    • Seeing how poorly the Vita’s doing, I doubt this game’ll be a real success.

      • boundries_san

        Which why i hope here that it will be able to become a system seller.^^

  • Solomon_Kano

    Yea, I’m very excited for this. Inafune had a lot to live up to for me and, in concept at least, this is doing it. We’ll see once people have actually played it, but this is sounding unbelievably great.

    Kaio on 3DS, Soul Sacrifice on Vita; Inafune’s really making me happy with his choices post-Capcom.

    • The man wants to help move handheld units and get more people involved with each other on the go. That’s how you create unity right there.

  • I just want to know where I can pre order Soul Sacrifice? This is a game I’m most likely going to import and purchase the American copy.

    • konsama

      Considering it says scheduled for Winter in Japan, it would come out here (if they really localize it) for summer/autumn 2013 at least. :/ 

      I guess i would just import it, Vita isn’t region locked for physical games after all.

  • konsama

    This game sounds really good, Inafune really knows his job and this seriously is making the Vita more attractive, let’s wait until E3 to know if there are any other decent, non port games coming out for it. Until then Vita is still dead weight for me.

  • My friend today told me about a ps vita game said soul something didnt have the sacrifice right so i went online to check and boom found this All i have to say is i want Soul Sacrifice in new york asap doing research on this game , beat both demons souls and dark souls for ps3 platium status completed which isnt a part of from software amazing games , omg this guy making this game is serious business i like that way it is n graphics already looking on par with consoles i hope battle system n magic system fun to use either way on im line 1st day it comes out in america this game got my buy already n it hasnt release i know tomorrow my boii gonna flip when he see this he also beat both demons n dark souls wow im amazed really ps vita games gonna start showing on point potential with its graphics prowess n great memory cant wait , as FAR as co op 4 players im feeling that make SURE there is chat features friends definitely gonna wanna chat while beating up demonic creatures lol i will neways thanks i like it so far cant wait hook this up good holla @ me very idealistically smart ..,<<<<, 1

    • ikiryou

       That’s some serious enthusiasm right there :o

    • Endless History

      The way that was written makes me just want to tell you ‘it’s okay. You can breathe now.’

  • heartless141

    wow, i’m blown by the idea.
    this game has potential Dark Souls level.

    • Zonron

       after seeing how the multiplayer works i could believe that. i liked that game alot and i think ill like this game to. im just curious if im going to be stuck in a cell the whole game and live threw the book, or will i get to explore in single player mode.

  • TheBlackKnight3

    Sounds good. I actually know someone who wants to buy this off the concept art. After these details though, I’m pretty much sold. Having a 3DS and Vita is expensive. -_-

  • I’m probably going out my way by saying if and when this game comes out in other regions, I will probably be one of the few thousand people giving monsters salvation instead of offing them. Because I’m a rebel and like being different from everyone else.

    • Zonron

       i would be giving salvation for another reason. i have always liked monsters in games, and sometimes i feel bad for them… that they were unlucky and ran into me. so ill save as many as i can. its rare for me to actually want to be a good guy in a game.

      who knows? maybe there are some really sweat rewards for letting them rest in peace.

      •  I sometimes feel the same when I defeat an enemy in a game unless it was someone who really deserved it (like Kefka because f**k that guy D:< ). I do stupid crap in games all the time, but if it's something that really does effect your morality as a whole through the game, I tend to stay on the straight and narrow, not because I'm a goody-goody but as with how I am in real life I'm not keen in going out of my way to making someone elses life miserable (unless they're being an arse).

        And that's true, you probably do get cool stuff for cleansing monsters.

        • Zonron

           yeah i hate that stupid clown! i agree with you on the morality thing. i tend to be good, but it bugs me when i walk into a place and they disrespect me because of my race( like playing as orc in morrowind) some times i go nuts and reset back to before i went mad.

          i think multiplayer is going to be great in this game, its going to push me to the limit of my capabilities as a team mate, or im just going to be used as kindling.

          •  You get cool points for mentioning Morrowind :3. And yeh I feel the same, I hate when you get hated on just for your race in a game :/ .

            Hopefully you want get to play the roll of the molotov cocktail too often xD.

  • XiaomuArisu

    Pulling your spine out and screaming(if still possible)EXCALIBAAAA!
    That game looks funsick.

  • Zonron

    great, i can see it now. me and my friend.
     ve-vegeta, could you give me a hand? i cant get up.
    sure :D
    wha-what are you doing!
    maybe you wont be such a disappointment when you’re dead!

    or i could see my friend yelling as loudly as he can “HERE I GO! THIS HAND OF MINE IS BURNING RED!~”

  • At first I though this was a sequel for Dark Souls and continue the work of Demons Souls. Now that I know is Inafune’s work I am interested in this one, just need some $$ for that PSVita.

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